After the motor blew in Friday morning's practice, the five of us stood together and talked about what we were going to do. We had started off the weekend officially in 23rd out of 40 bikes in Formula Extreme. A solid start and nearly in the top half of the entire field right out of the gate, before the session had ended. After losing the motor with about five minutes to go in the session, I quite honestly assumed we were going to be done and out of action, but everyone else was so positive and focused on getting back out there, it was impossible to not become optimisitic and think that the weekend might not be over.
The weekend continued in large part to a number of individuals. Thank you to Joe, Doug, Matt and Gina. They comprised the team effort that made the entire week/weekend possible. Having to do a motor swap once in the course of a race weekend is big enough feat in itself, but doing it twice? It just amazes me how quick we were able to do that. And when I say we, I mean Joe and Doug. There were a few small things I did, but 98% of the work was done by them and it was an incredible job by both of them.
A sincere thank you to Jeff Agnes, who without him offering his motor for us to use, our weekend would have surely been over. Jeff drove back home to pick up his bike and bring it back, just so we could tear the engine out and keep our weekend alive. It was a class act without question. Thank you also to Garry who made specific time each day throughout the weekend to check up and see how things were going for us.
Thank you to Dave (Grey) and Richard (Harris), who pitted next to us and made the weekend fun and the atmosphere of what racing is all about. Going through AMA tech for the first time, we were newbies to some of the rules of a stock gas cap, countershaft sprocket cover, and stock rear brake rotor, so we were swapping and exchanging parts off of spare wheels, tanks and whatever else between the two of us just to get both Dave and I through tech. Jake and Dirk were also there as part of the Apex Manufacturing team, and we all helped each other throughout the weekend, which just made things so much easier.
Thanks to Jonas and Aaron. After our motor let go, Jonas offered to let me run his bike in qualifying, which I was going to take him up on. Unfortunately right before that he had a slight mishap and crashed in his qualifying session, altering those plans. He was alright, but the bike had some serious damage done to it. Aaron spent all night fixing it and did a fantastic job so that Jonas could get back out and race in Formula Extreme on Saturday.
When all was said and done, this weekend was one of the most exciting, disappointing, fun, rewarding, humbling, frustrating and eye-opening experiences I've had. I wanted to be competitive in my first AMA professional race and as the race concluded, I really wasn't. We finished 22nd out of 34 bikes on the grid. I went slower than I did last year and that doesn't really make sense to me at the moment. The results of the Supersport class and show that from 1st through 15th place, there are factory-supported riders that make this class the most competitive class the AMA currently offers. That doesn't change the fact however that I'm not where I want to be right now. With good family and friends however, it's hard to linger on the negatives without taking into account the positives and continuing to move forward.
After crossing the finish line, the huge crowd around the track was cheering and blowing air horns all around - for everyone from first to last. After the cool down lap and coming off the track, my dad, Doug, Matt and Gina were clapping and cheering on pit-lane. No matter what our result – we qualified and raced in an AMA Pro Supersport race. After getting off the bikes, Dave and I exchanged hugs, exclaiming that we did it; amidst all the obstacles we've both faced since starting.
Later back in the pits I said to my dad, "Did you ever think when you let me borrow your bike to take that riders' school years back, we'd end up here?" He laughed and paused; then went back to working on the bike – getting Jeff's motor out so we could put it back together and head on home. I think even he was enjoying the moment.
[Photos courtesy of Jeff Kovack – http://www.viphotography.ca/]
Related Articles:Monday, August 4th, 2008 | POSTED AT: 6:53 AM
FILED UNDER: Race Reports
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- You're currently reading "AMA Mid-Ohio Recap (Thur-Sun)," an entry on Witchkraft Racing.
- Published: 08.4.08 / 6am
- Category: Race Reports